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Tony Grimes is the nation's top-ranked CB prospect for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Tony Grimes: The 5-star CB from Virginia settles his plan for this fall

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry leads with the latest on the classification status of 5-star CB Tony Grimes and then notes a recent development with prized ILB target Xavian Sorey Jr. in Florida. 

There was a point very recently where it looked like Tony Grimes was going to have to make a big decision. The global pandemic left significant doubt about whether or not there was going to be high school football in Virginia in the fall of 2020.

If that was the case, the nation’s No. 1 cornerback prospect for 2021 (247Sports Composite) was going to have to decide whether he wanted to reclassify as a 2020 graduate. That’s a similar story to what new Georgia QB J.T. Daniels opted to do in the summer of 2018.

According to his father, that decision has now been made.

“This past Friday, we received word that the [Virginia High School League] would be moving forward with Virginia Sports,” his father Deon Glover said. “With that in light, Tony will stay and play his final high school season.”

Are you a member of the DawgNation forum? This information first appeared on our recruiting message board prior to publication of this post. 

If he had chosen to proceed and classify as a 2020 recruit, it would have meant that he needed to take an online course over the summer to become eligible to graduate and enroll with one of his top four schools this fall.

Those schools were:

  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio State
  • Texas A&M

It would have meant that each of those schools would have had to free up a scholarship to fit an impressive talent like Grimes under the NCAA-mandated staple of 85 student-athletes for football. They likely would have done so. Grimes is that special of a player.

That’s not to say that the Bulldogs might have needed a shoehorn and a tub of butter to squeeze him through the doors of the football facility.  The Bulldogs are already at an estimated 89 scholarships for football heading into this fall after the recent transfer of the aforementioned former 5-star QB from USC.

To compound the issue, the Bulldogs didn’t offer a rosy cornerback depth chart for immediate playing time for this fall. The very reason that makes the Bulldogs very attractive for Grimes to crack the two-deep rapidly as January 2021 early entry would have scaled back his reps this fall.

Georgia has seniors Mark Webb and D.J Daniel returning to play cornerback or the “STAR” position this fall. There’s also redshirt junior CB Eric Stokes and true junior Tyson Campbell at that position, too. Daniel and Webb will exhaust their UGA eligibility this fall and strong seasons from Campbell and Stokes will certify them to be clear Day 2 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, if not go even higher than that.

Daniel doesn’t get enough credit for how well he played last fall when thrust into action in some very tight moments for the Georgia defense.

The Bulldogs also welcomed 5-star CB signee Kelee Ringo in the 2020 signing class to campus earlier this month. While that creates an enviable future for seasons to come, it did muddy the short term playing time puzzle for Grimes even further.

Ringo was ranked as the nation’s top cornerback prospect in the last cycle. The thought of the Bulldogs potentially adding the top cornerback prospect in back-to-back recruiting cycles doesn’t seem as much like hogging the market, but perhaps a necessary step.

If the Bulldogs are to reach their championship goals over the next few years, then they will have to shut down the prolific wide receiver talents that both Clemson and Ohio State have stacked up over the last few years, too. Georgia signed perhaps its best haul of wide receiver prospects in program history within its 2020 class, but the talent the Buckeyes signed in 2020 looks to even be a notch above that.

Ohio State signed the nation’s No. 2 WR in 2019, the No. 1 WR in 2020, the No. 5 WR in 2020 and the No. 10 WR in 2020.  Marcus Rosemy was Georgia’s highest-rated receiver signee for 2020. He was the nation’s No. 8 wideout for the last cycle.

It also seems pertinent to add that the Bulldogs also signed Tyrique Stevenson in the 2019 cycle. He was rated as the nation’s No. 3 cornerback prospect for the 2019 cycle. He certainly had his moments last fall as a true freshman and is poised for an even bigger impact in his second season at UGA.

When we also make sure to mention that Georgia also signed the nation’s No. 8 cornerback in 2020 All-American Jalen Kimber out of Texas, then we certainly begin to understand why Charlton Warren, Dan Lanning and Kirby Smart will be able to sleep well at night when it comes to the future of the Georgia secondary.

The Bulldogs will lose starting senior safety Richard LeCounte to the NFL after the 2020 season, along with the clear possibility of Campbell, Daniel, Stokes and Webb. And yet somehow the future could not be brighter for that position group in Athens.

Especially since Grimes now looks very likely to remain as a 2021 recruit. It does appear that the Bulldogs will have to roll up their sleeves to make sure they can hold off North Carolina as a true rival down the stretch when it comes to that 5-star recruitment.

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